The communities of Regional NSW, and those greyhound racing participants based in the regions, will be the major beneficiaries of a concerted push from Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) to see the industry grow and flourish in its heartland.
Greyhound racing in NSW is unique compared to other major sports and the other racing codes, in that more than 70 per cent of participants are based outside the metropolitan area.
"As an industry we are spread to all corners of the State," GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov said.
"With such a large percentage of our industry based in Regional NSW, we have made a point of making sure that those participants - and their dogs - are looked after."
The industry has recently seen a substantial injection of funds for infrastructure, significant increases in prizemoney, across the board track upgrades, and a strong focus on care of the greyhound, both during and after their racing careers.
"Over the past few years we have been able to substantially increase prizemoney at all levels to participants, from bolstering feature races, to raising stakes at weekly meetings," Mr Mestrov said.
"We have also been able to allocate funds to upgrade our racetracks. In the last three months we have opened a straight track at Richmond, and a $6 million state of the art complex at Grafton which has universally been declared the best and safest racetrack in the country."
Last month also saw the NSW Government's Minister Responsible for Racing, Kevin Anderson, announce a new funding model for the industry which will now see GRNSW able to contribute a minimum of $25 million over the next five years into a newly established Greyhound Industry Future Fund that will invest in capital items around the State such racing and rehoming facilities.
GRNSW is taking a regional-first approach that supports local businesses for any growth projects.
"We are very aware of the communities in the regions where we operate, and that's why we have undertaken to use local businesses as our preferred suppliers in regional areas where work is done or supplies are needed for our facilities," Mr Mestrov said.
"We have already seen this process used around the State on our projects.
"Greyhound racing is not only about the participants and those directly involved. We are an industry which impacts many regional areas in many different ways, and with the use of local workers and suppliers, we will be able to have even more of a positive impact on the men and women who have businesses and homes in the regions.
"It's all about putting back into the regional areas and we're 100 per cent about doing that."
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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